REVIEW: LEOPALLOOZA 2017
By all accounts, I should have had a terrible time. Upon arrival, I quickly realised our tent was less a tent and more a broken shambles of snapped tent poles. Oops.
This involved a one hour round trip to acquire a pop up tent more appropriate as a flimsy beach shelter than a suitably waterproof shelter for an already drizzly festival. Oh yes, the rain. My oh my did it rain. And did I mention I had a cold?
Yet despite that – the broken tent, the relentless rain, the cold – I had a total and utter blast at what truly is the greatest house party in a field’. And from the sea of smiles and laughter I was constantly surrounded with, so did everyone else. It’s a true testament to any festival that people are still smiling, sipping cider and singing along while drenched and slightly muddy.
Due to the small numbers and family-friendly nature of the festival, the atmosphere was always pleasant. This is the first smaller festival I have ever been to, so the super chilled out matey’ vibe was new to me but was one I immediately got on board with. It was fantastic to see people of all ages enjoying themselves; toddlers kitted out in waterproof boiler suits and noise cancelling headphones bopping next to glitter festooned festival veterans.
Atmosphere aside, the music was fantastic. While the headliners were predictably sublime, I enjoyed discovering new music from the names I hadn’t yet heard of. The BBC introducing stage was particularly brilliant for this and we got to hear everything from good old fashioned rock 'n' roll, heavy metal and punk. The new-to-me band Honey particularly stood out; a noisy local three-piece who describe themselves as pop babies with punk rabies. They are spot on and a joy to watch. For me though, the music highlight was the four-piece Brit/Oz indie band Sunset Sons who played to a huge evening crowd who enthusiastically sung and stomped their way through the summery set. A non-musical highlight was Mark and Danny’s Comedy Hour. The one-liner wonders from Mark Simmons were non-stop, but Danny Ward’s weird and wonderful style – complete with strange artefacts from the aisles of LIDL – stole the show for me.
Oh and we have to talk about the food. Forget the usual dull festival fare of overpriced and unseasoned burgers with claggy chips, the food vans at Leopallooza were innovative, packed full of flavour and unbelievably reasonable priced for a festival. Over the weekend we indulged in Caribbean coconut burgers, vegan chicken’ satay wraps, freshly iced watermelon juice and crispy churros. Not to mention a whole lot of cider.
With its unbeatable atmosphere, eclectic line-up and fairly priced flavourful food, it’s fair to say I’ll be back again next year (complete with a working tent).